Surrey RCMP have issued a warning after three people were robbed while trying to sell video game consoles through buy-and-sell websites.
All three incidents happened within a 24-hour period, police said.
The first incident happened just after 8 p.m., near 136A Street and 114 Avenue.
A man looking to sell a PlayStation 5 had arranged to meet the suspects through Facebook Marketplace, but when he arrived, two men assaulted him and stole the console, police said.
One suspect was described as between 18 and 21 years old, about five feet 11 inches tall with a slender build and weighing less than 160 pounds. He was wearing a mask and a black or grey zip-up hoodie.
The other man was described as larger than the first.
In the second case, a man arranged to sell an Xbox to someone through Craigslist.
Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, he met the suspects in the 6100 block of 146 Street, where he was bear sprayed and robbed by three men, police said.
About an hour later, a third man was robbed of a PlayStation 5 in the 8200 block of 168A Street, according to police.
The victim had arranged to sell the console through Craigslist, and was bear sprayed and robbed by three men, police said.
Mounties are urging the public to take extra care when selling anything through an online platform, and have issued the following tips:
- Insist on a public meeting place during the day, such as local businesses with regular foot traffic.
- Gather as much information as possible so you know who you’re dealing with, such as their full name and cellphone number.
- Do not meet in a secluded place or invite strangers into your home.
- Only meet during daylight hours or in a well-lit and heavily populated area.
- Be especially careful when buying or selling high-value items.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you’re meeting the buyer/seller.
- Take your cellphone and a friend along to accompany you.
Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to contact Surrey RCMP or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.